Today’s European Council dinner will begin with the energy issue on the table, with further negotiations on fundamental decisions expected. Looking ahead to 2015, EU policy makers will be aiming to travel to the next climate conference in Paris with a unified stance.
Researcher from the Egmont Institute, Tania Zgajewski, notes that the EU must seriously rethink its energy approach because the situation on the continent has deteriorated.
“Europe has been suffering from rising energy prices, rising external insecurity and various forms of disorganization in national markets,” Zgajewski wrote in a note. She thinks that “the promotion of renewable electricity has generated quite a mess because it has expanded at the price of more instability for other sources”.
Spain, with its regular legislation changes, could be taken as an example of such dysfunction, particularly from the renewable sector. However, any deal agreed at the Heads of the State and Goverment meeting would again encourage an intensive use of renewable sources, although quite what the funding levels may be for Member States remains unclear.
“We foresee a new reserve that will enable countries to modernize their systems,” one European public servant with access to the Council discussions revealed. The same source expressed confidence that “some kind of EU involvement or supervision,” was likely
The new ETS system- a cornerstone of the energy framework- is another challenge to be addressed at the meeting. The mechanism, which expires in 2020, fixes limits on industries with high CO2 emissions.
“Member States have not agreed how to renovate”, said the EU official. The Council will pursue the ETS system reform “looking for modernization in energy national networks”, but he added that “the EIB (the European Investment Bank) will not manage the funds”.